With the installation of new charging stations, electric vehicle (EV) drivers can travel from the Twin Cities metro area to Duluth with confidence, knowing an opportunity to charge is not far away. Interstate 35 now has a series of fast-charging stations that can charge an EV in about 30 minutes. Forest Lake, Pine City, Sturgeon Lake, and Duluth all host stations. Plans are in the works for additional charging stations beyond Duluth to allow eventual travel by EV along the North Shore.
In October, the final link in Minnesota’s first EV “charging corridor” was completed with the opening of the Sturgeon Lake station. Representatives from project partners — MPCA, ZEF Energy, Lake Country Power, Great River Energy, and Doc’s Sports Bar & Grill (where the station is located) — were on hand to mark the occasion.
This spring, Minnesota Power installed a 54-kilowatt solar carport along with charging stations in Canal Park in Duluth. The carport hosts eight Level 2 stations that can charge an EV in 2 to 6 hours and one fast charging station that can charge an EV in 30 minutes. Electricity from the solar array feeds directly into the charging stations when charging an EV. Excess power is fed back onto the grid.
Minnesota has plans for highway charging corridors that will eventually allow drivers to travel by EV throughout the state. The U.S. Department of Energy is also designating national charging corridors to encourage travel by EV nationwide. To learn more about Minnesota’s first EV charging corridor and other upcoming corridors, visit PlugIntoMN.com.